Greetings and welcome again to UC Davis! You have worked very hard to get here and we are proud to welcome you as part of our Global Aggies community. There are countless ways for you to learn from expert faculty, take your interests and skills to the next level, and form lifelong friendships. We are committed to making you feel as welcome and at home as possible and we are here to support you, whether you are in the U.S. or your home country to start.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published new guidance for the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program related to online courses for fall 2020 that concerns students on F-1 nonimmigrant visas. This is concerning to us and UC Davis is working with the University of California Office of the President to determine the best way to support international students.
In the wake of yesterday’s devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, we extend our deepest condolences to our Lebanese students, scholars, faculty, staff, partners and all those affected by this tragedy. We join the world in mourning for the victims and our hearts are heavy for all those affected by this catastrophe.
Yesterday (July 14), the University of California Office of the President confirmed that the Trump administration has canceled its plans to adopt and enforce new Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidelines and related FAQs for fall 2020, which were announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 6 and July 7, respectively. At this time, we are analyzing what this reversal means to UC Davis international students, but we are hopeful that this decision to not move forward with the guidelines adds more stability as you plan for fall. We remain committed to supporting you and will update this webpage with guidance as soon as we have more information to share.
We are writing to share our sincere concern, empathy, and commitment to action related to the new guidelines for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published July 6, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Please be assured our entire campus and the entire University of California system remains committed to supporting you and we are here to help. We are heartened by the influx of messages we have been receiving in support of you from students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and more.
On July 6, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published new guidelines for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or SEVP, that impacts thousands of our international students at UC Davis. Like our colleagues across campus and throughout the University of California system, we are deeply concerned by these new guidelines as they are an abrupt departure from the Homeland Security guidance provided for spring and summer 2020 and they run counter to our values at UC Davis. In fact, these guidelines are cruel and thoughtless. We want to assure you that UC Davis remains committed to supporting our international students and scholars who add enormously to the excellence that puts us amongst the world’s leading research and teaching institutions.
On behalf of Global Affairs at UC Davis, I am writing to echo recent statements from UC Davis Chancellor May and UC Board of Regents Chair Pérez and President Napolitano on the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Stephon Clark and countless other Black Americans. We stand with the UC System and UC Davis in affirming our solidarity with Black students, colleagues, and communities and in speaking out against racism, discrimination, and marginalization.
UC Davis’ fourth annual Give Day, a 29-hour online fundraising drive to support initiatives at UC Davis, will be held this year on April 17-18. As our Aggie family comes together, we remain committed to educating the next generation of problem solvers and change makers through Global Education for All, a Provost’s Priority and campus goal to provide 100% of our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with global learning opportunities that change their lives and our world.
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones, in California and around the world, safe and healthy. As we all continue to adjust to the unprecedented and evolving circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19), I am reminded of how interconnected our world is and of the resiliency of our UC Davis community. Global Education for All, our goal of preparing each and every UC Davis student to navigate the challenges and opportunities of a globally interconnected world, feels more timely than ever before.
I hope you will join me in congratulating our 2019-20 Humphrey Fellows: Nazmul Ahsan, Jihad Atallah, Issam Chariag, Fabrice Inkonkoy, Vindyani Jayasinghe, Ojja Martin Kapaya, Alain-Georges Moukoko, Zuomei Ning, Rommel Reconco, Karina Vergara, and Thu Vo. Being selected for this prestigious fellowship is an honor in itself. The collaborations these 11 truly remarkable international leaders have formed and the projects they have started over this academic year are even more impressive.